My take on archers



  • I know everyone complains a lot about archers and how they are OP or wussies who ruin the game. While I do not agree with either of those statements I do feel that archers need to be addressed.

    My problem with archers is not that they can kill people with their arrows or bows that is what they are designed to do ( and hey if they can do it through my shield more power to them). My problem with archers lies in their ability to switch to their secondary weapon so quickly, and that may not bother me as much if they didn’t have the ability to two to three shot a MAA. I think that the root problem with archers lies in their ability to back-stab. I mean lets face it sometimes it feels like they are getting their back-stab bonus from swings that are coming from the front of me.

    What I am saying is that archers should not have an ability that covers for their weakness. If you look at all the other class abilities they are abilities that enhance strengths ( maa get mobility from dodge, knights take less damage which makes them more of a tank, vangaurds have jump sprint that knocks you back when parried which helps enhance their overwhelming offense)

    what i think archers should get instead of their back-stab ability is a 50% damage increase when arrows hit people in the back that would make their lesser damage faster bows more viable.

    now I know what some of you will say in response learn how to fight melee noob, play knight noob, learn to feint noob, use a shield noob, or archers are easy to kill…. but lets be real here… when a person has been playing archer or any other class for that matter for the 40 to 50 hours there they learn how to parry, block, kick, feint, and flinch people. They get a sense for timing and spacing and fights start to take longer and longer. Which leads to spending all my stamina fighting one archer and sometimes because their weapons are so fast it feels like if I make the first move I will lose to a counter stab. If i run in with a shield and block maybe they go to just flinch me because their weapons are insanely fast. If i go to kick they get two swings in before the kick goes off and sometimes even kick me while I am kicking them so nothing happens but wasted stamina.

    I understand that archer has the highest learning curve which means greater rewards for them when they surpass that curve but as it is now I feel that archers will break the game and everyone will either have to be an archer or a knight to survive.

    Archers should have a hard time when people get into their melee range because that is what the class of archer is… they should not be able to kill somebody with a weaker (and faster) versions of weapons I am using in the same amount of swings as it would take to kill them (2-3 depending on the 1h weapon). Archers should have to doll out like 3-4 hits on a MAA or opposing archer in melee range.



  • If archer secondary weapons are really this amazing, why aren’t you using them? The MAA has the same secondary weapons.

    I know it can be frustrating fighting archers when they’re all up in your face; they kill me too. I never consider an archer an easy mark when I’m playing MAA, especially since I otherwise don’t get much practice fighting against opponents with superior weapon speed. The tricks that work on knights and vanguards won’t work so well on an archer, and I have to use a different mindset (hey, trading blows is suddenly worth it!) in order to maintain an edge on them.

    The backstab bonus puzzled me at first, as I agree that it doesn’t play to their strengths; it encourages them to play with a more even balance between archery and melee, which I think is actually a very good thing for the game. I like to draw my secondary and land a decisive blow against a preoccupied opponent, or sneak around a flank to gank some archers instead of wasting time trading arrows with them. The backstab bonus encourages this sort of strategy, and keeps archers from spending too much time in the back rows lobbing hail mary shots.

    Without the backstab bonus, an archer needs 3-4 hits to down an MAA as it is. The only exception that I am aware of is the short sword: two short sword stabs directly to the head will kill a man at arms. Most other weapons (slashes/overheads from the hunting knife, scimitar, cudgel, and short sword, or stabs from the thrusting dagger, for example) require 3 hits.

    And I don’t really know what you mean about how quickly archers can draw secondary weapons… you actually have to be very careful about an archer about firing at opponents who are rushing you; you have to fire very early and swap early or you’ll get carved up for sure.



  • the reason i don’t use the secondary weapon as a MAA is because it would take me an extra swing it wouldn’t take an archer to kill me vs me killing them. Also my primary weapon should be more effective than any secondary weapon hands down. it takes 3 hits to kill me with mostly any of their secondaries and if they use the short sword of a dagger if they land one they automatically get another hit… which means if they get by my guard twice I am dead…

    while i agree you must play archers differently trading blows is a lame solution while i do use that strategy for the most part you have to understand MAA thrive on mind games and not taking damage… trading blows is like a death sentence for us… especially since we are not talking about 1v1’s here in big games you cant trade blows because then the next guy will kill you so its lame that i have to sacrifice myself to kill 1 archer because that’s the only way.



  • @bourd:

    the reason i don’t use the secondary weapon as a MAA is because it would take me an extra swing it wouldn’t take an archer to kill me vs me killing them. Also my primary weapon should be more effective than any secondary weapon hands down. it takes 3 hits to kill me with mostly any of their secondaries and if they use the short sword of a dagger if they land one they automatically get another hit… which means if they get by my guard twice I am dead…

    This is starting to sound like a skill/strategy thing, here. After being hit once, the second hit is not automatic; you can parry the second attack, though I know it isn’t easy, especially if they’re facehugging you or they’re mixing stabs, overheads, and slashes, leaving you very little time to know where to aim the mouse. However, it’s quite possible with practice. I have to remind myself all the time to stay calm, as I’m sure to die if I let myself get flustered. I know the aggression is coming, I just have to know how I’m going to deal with it and stick to the plan.

    And they shouldn’t be getting backstab damage on you if you’re dueling. You have a higher strafe speed, plus dodge, and you have to use those to your advantage to control the battle.

    Also, yes, it would take an extra swing to drop an archer using a secondary, but if parrying those weapons is really that hard, they’ll have just as much trouble with it as you do. It’s flawed logic to say that archers can easily kill you with secondary weapons, but you can’t do the exact same thing with the exact same weapon, especially given that you have dodge, and marginally better armor and foot speed. It’s one or the other, it can’t be both.

    My strategy against archers is to either go on the offensive if I think they look skittish, or play the denial game. Going on the offensive involves feinting, and trying to come at them sideways, or sometimes from above (jump+overheads) to make it hard to parry. Depending on the weapon, lunging stabs are great, too.

    What I mean by the denial game is that I know my primary outranges their secondary in most cases (watch out for those scimitars and even cudgels), and that I have good foot speed; when I think they’re about to sprint and attack, I’ll backpeddle or strafe while slashing, timing my attack so that it’ll get out before they can flinch me. Worst case scenario, we trade hits, which is to my advantage, in which case I try to either finish the combo if I’m confident it’s safe, or dodge out and start again. Best case scenario, I hit them while keeping enough distance that their attack misses; ideally, I flinch them. If we both whiff, again, I’ll either finish the combo in hopes that they walk into it, or I’ll dodge. If I can get them on the defensive, a feint usually does the trick.

    When in doubt, I consider disengaging; many archers would rather not deal with a man at arms, even a wounded one, and might not work too hard at pursuing you. The best is when they think it’s safe to draw their bow again, only to have you double back and hack 'em down (man I hate it when people do this to me!).

    while i agree you must play archers differently trading blows is a lame solution while i do use that strategy for the most part you have to understand MAA thrive on mind games and not taking damage… trading blows is like a death sentence for us… especially since we are not talking about 1v1’s here in big games you cant trade blows because then the next guy will kill you so its lame that i have to sacrifice myself to kill 1 archer because that’s the only way.

    I know pretty well what it’s like to play MAA; it was my first main class, and honestly, I still spend more time as a MAA than an archer (and I’m up to 150+ hours now). I know that hit-trading isn’t ideal, but it’s better than just being hit. At the very least, I’d rather trade my two hits for two of his, and skulk off somewhere to heal. This is often how knights and vanguards wind up killing me; they take a chunk of damage while I get 1-shotted to the brain bowl.

    I think a lot of the frustration that some players have stems from the assumption that archers have to completely suck in melee, that they’re all but free kills. They aren’t. You aren’t likely to see one run around in melee while never firing a shot - archers, not surprisingly, prefer to shoot - but they are not, nor should they be total slouches in melee. They have advantages and disadvantages when fighting other classes, which I find work out to a small net disadvantage; for the archer, winning involves capitalizing on their advantages (decent speed, rapid weapons) while minimizing or mitigating their disadvantages (short reach, no shields, armor made of old newspapers).

    EDIT: I hope it goes without saying, but this is just my take. I’m not saying you’re wrong and I’m right; everyone has different experiences with the game.



  • Well OP you should try being an archer for a longer period of time and see if you still think it takes too shot a time to draw your secondary weapon. If you’re an archer and you’re clever you can put your bow away early and draw your secondary, but if you get caught off guard it does take a long time to draw your secondary and be ready to block with it and typically you get chopped in half if you’re too slow ;)



  • Unlike Source engine games like Team Fortress 2, Chivalry does not have client side lag compensation. As such, players won’t be hitting you in the back when they appear to be in front of you due to latency. More likely is that they’re hitting you in the head; the Shortsword can kill even a Vanguard with two stabs to the head. This is compensated for by their low reach and only average mobility meaning they can’t do anything against a MaA dodging properly, as well as low armor and light weapons allowing Knights and Vanguards to kill them in one hit with most weapons and severely deplete their stamina on blocked attacks.

    The archer’s passive is, in fact, perfectly fitting to their role on the battlefield - they’re a support class. Backstab bonus allows archers to deal very significant damage in melee against distracted enemies, to assist their team up close as well as at a distance. I can assure you it’s very rare for an archer to get a backstab in head to head combat unless the melee player is playing very poorly, I.E. charging straight forward swinging in a predictable pattern and allowing the archer to circle around him. “Facestabs” simply don’t happen on this game engine because of the use of very accurate prediction instead of lag compensation.

    Also, as a frequent Shortbow user, even with a dagger (which has a faster switch time than the light swords/cudgel) I find myself sometimes being caught unable to defend myself in time. It’s all about how you approach. Don’t just charge an archer head-on when you have the option to flank him. It’s extremely frustrating trying to switch to your melee weapon if you’re struck with your bow drawn, because you’ll suffer a flinch during which you cannot swap weapons, often leaving you open to be hit twice before you can do anything at all.



  • @SlyGoat:

    […]It’s extremely frustrating trying to switch to your melee weapon if you’re struck with your bow drawn, because you’ll suffer a flinch during which you cannot swap weapons, often leaving you open to be hit twice before you can do anything at all.

    And that’s when you duck the second hit while pulling out your shortsword and counter-attack with a vengeance! =3



  • @Daiyuki:

    @SlyGoat:

    […]It’s extremely frustrating trying to switch to your melee weapon if you’re struck with your bow drawn, because you’ll suffer a flinch during which you cannot swap weapons, often leaving you open to be hit twice before you can do anything at all.

    And that’s when you duck the second hit while pulling out your shortsword and counter-attack with a vengeance! =3

    Players who aren’t smart enough to redirect their attacks against someone who ducks aren’t smart enough to flank me ;)



  • @SlyGoat:

    @Daiyuki:

    @SlyGoat:

    […]It’s extremely frustrating trying to switch to your melee weapon if you’re struck with your bow drawn, because you’ll suffer a flinch during which you cannot swap weapons, often leaving you open to be hit twice before you can do anything at all.

    And that’s when you duck the second hit while pulling out your shortsword and counter-attack with a vengeance! =3

    Players who aren’t smart enough to redirect their attacks against someone who ducks aren’t smart enough to flank me ;)

    Pff, everyone gets caught by surprise once in a while when the archer they were going to hit flattens out like a pancake and then springs up with a sword in hand that’s now stabbing at them.


  • Global Moderator

    I always treat an archer like an MAA in melee.



  • @lemonater47:

    I always treat an archer like an MAA in melee.

    Using the grenadelauncher right?

    @Slygoat I hope they fix the weaponswap + flinch bug. It effects all ranged weapons and even meleeweapons sometimes. If you’re caught that way with your throwing axes up you even may lose all of them.


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